Venti Vidi Vici

demotivational posters - SQUIRRELS + COFFEE

This past Saturday morning, I had my first coffee in, uh . . . I’m pretty sure I had my first coffee ever, past a sip and a grimace.

I don’t like the stuff.  To quote Dave Kellett, I don’t drink coffee for the taste any more than I’d chew aspirin for the flavor.   In a pinch, it’s strictly medicinal and then only measured in spoonfuls as needed.

Saturday, I was pinched.  It had snowed overnight and the roads were just dicey enough that I didn’t stop to pick up my usual carbonated caffeine supply before driving to work.  I figured I’d get a diet Pepsi from the vending machine in the staff room, forgetting that I’d given Jane the last of my change for a school fundraiser so she could wear her pink fedora, or buy a cookie, or play the ponies, or whatever.

I was just beginning to feel that pounding on the left side of my forehead, the drumming that means the withdrawal gnomes are about to appear over the hill, and I’d better do something before they fire up the bagpipes.  And I remembered that this branch of the library has a café.

I dragged myself over there, squinted at the kid behind the counter and said, “What’s the biggest blast of caffeine you can do for a coffee hater?”

He blinked at me, glanced at the tea rack, and decided that Earl Grey wasn’t going to make a dent.  “Maybe a mocha?”  he said.  “They’re sweet enough that you might not notice the aftertaste.”


So he made me a venti-plus, doubleshot* white chocolate mocha.

You guys . . .

You guys . . .

It was amazing.

There was a hint of bitterness, but not enough to bother me, the withdrawal gnomes accepted their tribute and vanished back into the recesses of Metaphorland, and clarity settled upon me like a Mentat taking his first spice hit of the morning.**  My hands were warm, which is not normal, believe me.

The morning went by very, very quickly until lunch, when the drums started in again, along with the fifes of the Sugar Crash Brigade.

So I went out into the wilderness on a Diet Pepsi hunt and returned with a brace of 24-ouncers to tide me over.***  And also a sandwich.

Which was a good thing, as I had a looong afternoon, caffeine notwithstanding, followed by the first meeting of the Hollywood Hype Book and Movie Club, for which my friends and I read a book, see the movie (or television adaption), and compare/contrast/complain over desserts.^

This month, it was One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.  Because some of you may want to see it, I will say only three non-spoilery things:

The individuals who designed and signed off on the cheesy, franchise-promoting, chick-flicky opening title sequence should be spanked and told sternly never to do it again.  No, the Stephanie Plum books aren’t War and Peace, but this movie isn’t With Six You Get Eggroll, either.  Sheesh.

Even if Snooki had a cameo in this movie—which one would be forgiven for anticipating from the  “this is what middle America is expecting from a movie set in Jersey” opening sequence—seeing  Jason O’Mara with his shirt off was well worth the admission price.

I liked the movie better than the book.  This isn’t a slur on Janet Evanovich’s writing talent at all—the woman writes the witty, clever, sassy equivalent of crack—but I’ve got my reasons, which I’d be glad to debate once everyone has seen it.

I’m not sure how much of this opinion stems from being perhaps the tiniest bit over-caffeinated at the time—though I wasn’t to the point where the screen looked like I was trying to watch a 3D showing without my specs. Mr. O’Mara looked just fine . . .

But it is possible that I might have been speaking like the squirrel in Hoodwinked during the discussion afterward, though no one mentioned it.  If so, I wasn’t the only one talking—the  group didn’t leave the restaurant until past closing time, when every waiter in the place came by one at a time to ask us if we wanted anything else.

It was well past midnight before I settled down enough to sleep.

I’m gonna blame the mocha, delicious gateway drug that it is.

So, so worth it though.

What gets y’all through a long day? And should it disturb me that I already have a tag for “Caffeine”?


*I don’t drink the stuff, but the rock I live under ain’t big enough to keep out Starbuckian terminology.  Few rocks are.

**Name that novel!  Brownie point to the first!  No Googling!

***I would have had another mocha, but the one tenacious constant in a lifelong pattern of disordered eating is my mild discomfort with drinking calories, unless I’ve put soup in a mug or made a conscious decision to let it go already.  This does tend to keep me sober, though, mostly, which isn’t a bad side effect.

^Eating calories is only an intermittent problem for me.  I like a good sugar rush, which I can get just from descriptions:

Me: What’s on the dessert menu?
Cha Cha: Okay, first there’s the Chocolate Divine—rich chocolate fudge syrup smothering chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies, bananas and whipped cream and then—
Me: Wait—say it again . . . slower . . .


Six Sentence Sunday: Full Metal Librarian X (Space Cowboy)

Six Sentence Sunday is open to all writers. Just pick a six sentence passage from anything you’ve written—published, unpublished, whatever—and post it on your blog on Sunday.

Registration for the upcoming Sunday list opens the previous Tuesday evening at 5pm CST. More information is here.

Check out all the talent!


Another six from my drawer novel.

Remember that e-mail that freaked Clyota in part five?  She finally opened it:

“My name is William Stanhope-Hardcastle.  We never met, but I was with your mother at WASA, until I hung up my spurs.  We flew all the early Moon port missions together and I even went along for the ride to Io— sure heard a lot about you during all those flight hours.”

I’ll bet he had—the Jupiter Rescue had been smack in the middle of my worst adolescent angst, when I’d been convinced that Mom had chosen to leave my sulking, unpleasant self to rescue those colonists from certain death just to spite me.

“Anyway, a while back, Monica sent me a lockbox for safekeeping and told me to pass it along to you if anything happened. 

Guess it did.”


Previous Installments:
First ♦ Second ♦ Third ♦ Fourth ♦ Fifth ♦ Sixth ♦ SeventhEighthNinth

Eight hours, five thousand words

funny pictures of cats with captions
I dropped Janie off at school, got Rocinante’s oil changed and his tires rotated,* and had my rear in the writing chair by 9:10.**

My  husband—who wasn’t wearing my favorite headphones and could therefore  hear my stomach complaining from across the room—made me break for lunch around noon-thirty.***  Checked my e-mail and feeds.

Got back in the saddle around one.

My husband left to pick up the kids around three.  I think.^  He came back with them—and an oven-bake pizza, making him my official hero^^—about four-thirty.

Took a  break—dinner, joined Facebook,^^^ kidstuff, tv, bedtime rituals—and went back to the chair until . . . now.

What time is it, anyway?  I’ve got work tomorrow.

My shoulders hurt, my bottom hurts, my eyes are burning, and my brain is full of fuzz and stray bees.

But y’all, I wrote some today.


*I didn’t get his cracked windshield replaced, but did receive an estimate that didn’t cause an immediate stroke, so I’m still ahead of the game.

**After paying the car place, I figured the best place to write would be home, as it’s  inexpensive (or pre-paid, anyway) and I don’t have to pack everything up to visit the restroom.  The hot and cold running caffeine ran out waaaay too early, though.  I complained to the management, told myself to stuff it if I didn’t like the choices, and slunk back to work.

***Lured by a two-liter of diet Pepsi.  Damn, I’m easy.

^ He did, at one point, venture into my peripheral vision to glance at the screen.  I slid off my headphones.  “Yes?”
“Just wanted to see what you were giggling about.  Thought it was a video, but you’re writing.”
“I was giggling?”
“Yeah.  You were.”
“Oh.”  I turned the music down a notch, slid my headphones back on, and kept going.

^^Damn, I am easy.

^^^Yeah . . . but only to play Words with Friends.  Really.

Random Thursday: Hairy Balls and other Intellectual Stimulation

Catchy Title, no?

This Random Thursday is going to be a quickie, because the writing, she is like this right now:

epic win photos - Book Sculpture WIN

And I must take advantage.

Warning: Intellectual Time Suck Ahead
(and some ads—sorry)

I don’t subscribe to many YouTube Channels—actually, I just figured out how—but besides the Piano Guys and Tim Minchin* the only other channel I follow is the one owned by CGP Grey.

All you need to know—and all I know—is that CGP Grey’s tagline is “Complex Things Explained” and the videos this individual produces do indeed explain complex things, like what places make up the UK and why coffee is the most excellent addictive substance ever.

This is the first one I saw, but it wasn’t the last—I lost hours . . .

. . . but gained knowledge.

Not a bad trade.


Warning: Intellectual Time Suck, Serious Geek Edition:

I don’t follow the MinutePhysics channel ( “cool physics and other sweet science”)—just found it this morning by accident while trying to copy and paste the above video into WordPress before the caffeine kicked in—but I will.

Not just because I really do love physics,** or because they gave me a great title for this blog post, but because these guys have given me a scientific, mathematically-proven excuse for my hair.

You can’t put a price on that:



And This one’s Just a Bunch of Cool Words

But what words they are:

It’s also one of the best book trailers I’ve seen.


I have tomorrow off, and I’m going to spend it in a yet unselected location,*** where I will be writing until I have to pick up Janie from school.

We’ll see how it goes . . .

*For reasons that most of you probably already know. If you don’t, keyword them into the search window to your upper left to find out.

**Someone asked me this morning—as I was exclaiming over this video—how I can love physics and maintain my aversion to basic math. Well . . . physics, on my level, is made of amazing plug-and-play formulas and fantastic experiments created by brilliant minds that explain how the universe itself operates. The main thing basic math has shown me is how much money I don’t have in my bank account, and I have to do all the work. Which would you prefer?

***Which will have a hot and cold running caffeine supply, convenient bathrooms, and possibly WiFi, although I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.   But first, I have to get  Rocinante’s oil changed—where did the mileage go?  I haven’t been anywhere . . .